Jodie's Body, the one-woman Off-Broadway show that ran more than 250 performances at the Gene Frankel Theatre, will return to Manhattan Feb. 18 when author/star Aviva Jane Carlin begins performances at the Arc Light Theatre. The official opening is Feb. 24.
Body's initial run -- produced by the News Mercury Players -- began Jan. 5, 1998, though it did not officially open until May 4, 1998. Kenneth Elliot directed that engagement, though his name is not connected to the current production. (One surprising name that is involved with the return of Jodie's Body is that of feminist Gloria Steinem, who co produces with Julian Schlossberg, William J. Repicci, Chris Groenewold and Meyer Ackerman.)
The Uganda-born, Kenya-raised Carlin stars as Jodie, an overweight artist's model posing nude for a London art class three days after the first elections in South Africa. Part of that country's white upper class, Jodie muses about political issues. According to a statement, she realizes that "if the mighty structure which upheld apartheid could be dismantled, why should we not also take apart the one which governs our image of our physical selves?"
Alice Herrick, a spokesperson for the show's previous run, noted that the play asks, "Who decides what is the perfect body? Why can't we get away from these whole fashion-magazine notions?"
Carlin's look at geographical and gender politics first played at Seattle, WA's Brown Bag Theatre in 1995 and later opened the Watermark Theatre's Word Fire Festival in NYC. For tickets ($35) and information on Jodie's Body, in an open run at the newly-built Arc Light Theatre, 152 West 71 St., call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz